Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Large numbers of northern Iraqis fleeing amid Turkish strikes

Thousands have fled their homes in northern Iraq as a result of Turkey’s recent shelling operations there, according to the United Nations refugee agency, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.

“More than 1,800 people have fled their homes in the Sangasar sub district of Sulaimaniyah Governorate and in Doli Shahidan in Erbil Governorate last weekend, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said,” the article states.

An Iraqi official said Turkish planes attacked several villages Sunday, killing one woman. The rebels said two civilians and five rebels died.

According to Astrid van Genderen Stort, spokeswoman for the High Commissioner for Refugees, the displaced have found shelter with relatives and friends, but with the start of winter it is difficult for the host families to take care of additional people.

“Many of those displaced say they cannot afford to pay monthly rents of US$200 to US$300 (euro140 to euro210) for alternative accommodation and ... fear they cannot stay much longer with their host families,” she said.

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